Big ag trader drops Guatemalan firm linked to toxic spill

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

The US agribusiness giant Cargill has suspended its business relationship with a Guatemalan oil palm firm that caused a massive toxic spill, impacted the food security of thousands of families and then sought to block their access to justice.

The spill from the palm oil firm Reforestadora de Palma del Petén SA (REPSA), which occurred in Sayaxché, Peten province in June 2015, killed thousands of fish and destroyed the plant life in the river. According to an analysis published by Oxfam earlier this year, REPSA subsequently took a series of measures to stall an official investigation into the scandal.

Cargill announced that it was suspending its relationship with REPSA at the end of November, due to the firm’s failure to comply with its sustainability policy. The announcement comes after years of campaigning by civil society groups in Guatemala and the US.

To find out more read our earlier post on the Oxfam report and a Friends of the Earth statement on Cargill’s decision, published this week.

Image on homepage shows fish killed in the Rio Pasión, June 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of La comision para la defensa de la vida y la naturaleza.